Annual Membership Benefits

Divers Alert Network (DAN) Southern Africa is not an insurance company and it does not sell insurance. DAN is a diving emergency assistance organisation that uses a group insurance policy to extend emergency medical benefits to its members for certain travel, medical and diving related emergencies. As part of your DAN membership, DAN automatically provides member benefits according to the respective membership levels.

Diving Injury Benefits

DAN offers three levels of cover for its members – Standard, Plus and Master Plans. This cover includes payment for the cost of hospitalisation, medical and hyperbaric treatment, as well as certain other costs associated with diving-related accidents (see the “What is Covered,” table to the right). Plus and Master members receive the Alert Diver Magazine subscription in digital format.

NOTE: Many medical aids do not cover diving-related injuries and treatments and more importantly do not cover any accidents that occur outside national borders. Do not assume you are covered; please confirm your benefits with your medical aid.

Family Membership Benefits

There are two types of family memberships: Diving Family Membership and Non-Diving Family Membership. Diving family members of the principle diving member pay a discounted membership fee on selected membership packages rather than the full membership fee. Non-diving, immediate family members can be added under the cover of the main diver at no extra cost and are only covered for emergency medical and evacuation benefits. Family members that dive who are not declared as divers will not be covered for any diving injuries. Only immediate family members (i.e. spouse and children) can be added.

Diving Emergencies Benefits

Our 24-hour emergency hotline is your lifeline to assistance in the event of a medical or diving-related injury. Without your support of DAN, emergency medical support for divers would not exist.

+27 (0) 82 810 6010

If you ever have any relevant questions about your health and how it might affect your diving, you are welcome to call the medical information line for advice on topics, such as the recovery time following surgery before it is safe to dive, or the address of the nearest diving doctor in your area; you can also access the information on a diving doctor in your area by following this link into an online map.

Emergency Evacuation Benefits

As a DAN member, you are entitled to the benefits of our emergency medical programme. This includes evacuation in a medical emergency when you travel more than 100 km from home or when you are on a dive trip. In addition, the benefit extends to include non-diving-related emergency medical expenses when travelling outside your country of permanent, registered residence for a maximum period of three months (Plus and Master members only).

What is covered?

Diving Emergency
  • Valid for all DAN members
  • Diving Medical Benefits Include cover for medical expenses e.g.
    • Ear baratrauma
    • Decompression Sickness
    • Alterial Gas Emolism
  • Valid Worldwide

Non- Diving Diving Emerency
  • Non-diving medical benefits apply whenever you travel outside of your country of residence.
  • Benefits include emergency medical expenses.

Travel Assistance/Evacuation
  • Valid for all DAN members and their registered non-diving family members.
  • Actual costs of an evacuation are covered.
  • Benefits apply whenever you travel more than 100 km from home or are on a dive trip.
  • International cover is limited to 90 days from the date of departure. Extensions may be granted on request for non-working members at the discretion of the underwriters.
  • Coverage for evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical facility in a medical emergency is covered.
  • If it was a diving injury, refer to the "Diving Emergency" section above.
  • If it was not a diving injury, refer to the "Non-Diving Emergency" section above.

Important Cover Benefit Notes

  • DAN must be contacted in the event of a medical emergency to access benefits in the event of any diving injury. You must advise DAN if you are travelling outside your country of residence for longer than 90 days, as international cover is limited to 90 days from the date of departure. If you are a non-working diver and require a limited extension, you must contact DAN in order to ensure that you qualify.
  • DAN-SA benefits is secondary coverage. Wherever possible, DAN will arrange for expenses to be covered firstly by any other travel or medical insurance(s) you may have. 
  • Lost or damaged diving gear is only covered if it was lost or damaged as a direct result of a valid, DAN registered accident or evacuation. To ensure cover, DAN must be contacted in the event of any covered emergency or loss.
  • As with insurance companies, there are specific conditions and exclusions which apply. Please make sure that you understand these and have read the terms and conditions carefully .

Membership Benefits Overview

Benefits Standard Plus Master

Medical and related expenses for
a diving-related injury or illness

R500 000

R700 000

R800 000

International medical and related
expenses for a non-diving related injury or illness
None R700 000 R800 000

Local and international emergency transport
or evacuation for non-diving related injury or
illness to closest medical facility

Actual Cost

Actual Cost

Actual Cost

Personal liability for bodily injury or
material damage
R500 000 R1 000 000 R2 000 000

Inconvenience Benefits

Note: The DAN hotline must be contacted for claims related to the inconvenience benefits and the necessary supporting documentation submitted for approval before any claims can be paid. These claims will only be dealt with during office hours.

There is an excess payment of R100 for any of the claimable amounts listed below.
Dive Trip Related Standard Plus Master

Diving equipment delay (R500 per 4 hours)




Cancellation of dive (Medically unfit to dive) R1000 R2000 R2000

Curtailment of dive (Medically unfit to dive)




Unexpected adverse weather conditions (Inability to dive R500 R1000 R1000

Missed live-on-board boat departure due to accident




Mechanical breakdown of live-on-board boat (R250 per day) R1000 R1500 R1500

What is not covered?

In order to meet the requirements of the insurance laws and the Medical Schemes Act, DAN cover has to comply with the purposes of its mission. Certain medical conditions would also significantly increase the cost of cover to our members and have therefore been excluded in the interest of the vast majority of our members. Below is a list of some of the main exclusions.

Hazardous pursuits, sports or activities which dramatically increase the possibility of injury are excluded, for example:
  • Riding motorcycles
  • Bungee jumping
  • Abseiling
  • White water rafting 
  • Hiking without a recognised guide or on an unmarked trail 
  • Mountaineering with ropes 
  • Diving to a depth outside your qualification and training or beyond the specified limit of your cover (max 40 m for Standard and Plus members and 100 m for Master members – DAN must be contacted for all dives deeper than 100 m)

The following pre-existing medical conditions are excluded from cover (they represent contraindications to diving):
  • Cardiac disease
  • Cardiovascular (heart attack) diseases
  • Vascular (poor circulation) diseases 
  • Cerebro-vascular (stroke) diseases

Note that myocardial infarction, strokes and intervertebral disk prolapse are specifically excluded from this cover, irrespective of whether these develop in association with diving or diving-related activities, such as: 
  • Travelling against medical advice; 
  • Injuries sustained while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and 
  • Participating in sport as a professional athlete or player.

It is important to note that the following is not covered as part of your DAN membership: search and recovery, and working on a cruise ship, sailing vessel or on a boat travelling from one country to another.

Diving Emergency Medical Treatment

  • Valid worldwide
  • For active DAN-SA members only
  • Diving family members must be registered as such (with the additional membership fee paid) in order to be covered for diving-related injuries.

If a DAN member has a diving-related injury that is directly related to his or her dive, DAN will pay for the required treatment, provided the DAN hotline is contacted. Any arrangements made without calling the DAN hotline will not be covered.

Emergency medical cover
  • Emergency medical cover must be pre-approved by DAN by calling the DAN hotline.
  • DAN will cover the treatment at the nearest appropriate medical facility, as determined by the diving medical officer on call.
  • Expenses are covered to the existing limits (based on the membership levels).
  • Hospitalisation is covered.
  • Recompression chamber treatments are covered.
  • Consultations are covered.
  • Pre-existing conditions are specifically excluded.

Follow-up treatment cover
  • Follow-up treatment cover must be approved in advance.
  • Limited benefits.
  • There is an excess of R500 for each follow-up visit.
  • The follow-up visits must fall within three months of the original injury.

Non-Diving Emergency Medical Treatment

Non-diving emergency medical treatment is covered worldwide. This is valid for active Plus and Master DAN members and their registered non-diving family members. Standard members do not receive this benefit.

If a DAN member is travelling outside his or her country of permanent, registered residence and sustains an injury or contracts an illness requiring treatment, DAN will pay for the required treatment, provided the member is actually treated outside his or her country of residence. The cover is valid for a maximum period of 90 days. Should a DAN member be travelling outside his or her country, without returning, for longer than 90 days, he or she will need to apply to DAN in order to see if they qualify for an extension.

  • Expenses must be pre-approved by DAN by calling the hotline.
  • DAN will cover the treatment at the nearest medical facility.
  • Expenses are covered to the existing limits (depending on the membership level).
  • Hospitalisation is covered.
  • Related medical or surgical treatment is covered.
  • Consultations are covered.
  • Pre-existing conditions are specifically excluded.

Follow-up treatment cover
(Only valid while still outside the country of permanent, registered residence.)
  • Follow-up treatment cover must be approved in advance.
  • Limited benefit.
  • There is an excess of R500 for each follow-up visit.
  • Must fall within 30 days of the original injury or illness.

Travel Assistance/Evacuation Benefits

The following applies to travel assistance or evacuations:
  • Covered worldwide;
  • Valid for all DAN members and their registered non-diving family members; and
  • Actual costs of evacuation are covered.

The members or registered family members who are left behind and, where applicable, companion and accompanying children will be returned home (i.e. to the point of departure).

  • It must be pre-approved by DAN-SA by calling the DAN hotline.
  • The DAN member will be taken to the nearest appropriate medical facility.
  • It is valid when a DAN member is travelling more than 100 km from his or her usual place of residence or while on a dive trip.

How to file a claim?

Before a claim can be filed, the accident needs to be registered by contacting the DAN hotline. A case will be opened and all the arrangements will be made by our nominated service providers. Any other arrangements not made by DAN will not be covered. As far as possible, DAN will issue Guarantees of Payment (GOPs) and the bills will be sent directly to DAN.

Learn how to file a claim for medical expenses related to a diving injury or a travel-related medical emergency covered under DAN membership benefits. 

Your Responsibility

Researching your dive site, planning your dive and preparing to respond to emergencies are all components of prudent dive planning. The safe diver understands that preparation for diving begins long before you arrive at
your dive site.

The foundation of safe diving is a good emergency assistance plan (EAP). DAN-SA’s emergency on-call staff answers hundreds of calls each year. Not surprisingly, many calls involve situations that could have been managed with a sound EAP.

Developing an Emergency Assistance Plan

The heart of an EAP is a list of essential considerations and a framework for performing key functions should an incident occur. Being a responsible member of the diving community means you and your dive buddies should create and review an EAP prior to any dive excursion. A comprehensive EAP can be divided into three sections: prevention, preparation and response.Developing an Emergency Assistance Plan (EAP).


Paying attention to the factors that commonly cause dive emergencies can help prevent crises altogether. The best way to handle an incident is to keep it from happening. These are factors to consider:

Physical fitness: Diving requires aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility and muscular endurance. Your physical fitness should be commensurate with the demands of your dive environment.

Medical fitness: You need to consider both chronic medical conditions and short-term health issues. Congestion increases the risk of ear or sinus barotrauma, and travelling divers often face gastrointestinal problems that can affect their general health and stamina. Be honest with yourself; if you feel less than 100% healthy, postpone your dive.

Mental fitness: Many people with everyday anxieties, fears or other psychological difficulties can dive safely. However, if for any reason, at any time, you or a buddy feels unprepared to enter the water, call off the dive.

Training: Make sure you are trained for the type of dive you are about to do and practise your basic skills, such as mask clearing, buoyancy and air sharing skills, regularly. Take a refresher if you feel uncomfortable or have not been diving in six months or more.

Equipment maintenance: Divers must understand the capabilities and limitations of their own and their buddy’s equipment. Have your gear inspected regularly, get trained in its use and maintenance and incorporate enough time to familiarise yourself with your buddy’s gear before you dive.

Dive planning: Learn about any hazards, specific skills required or other unique aspects of your dive site. Consider hazardous marine life, currents, temperature and the potential for rapid changes in weather or sea conditions.


Despite all efforts to prevent them, incidents still happen. The better prepared you are to handle them, the better the outcome will be. Here is how to prepare:

Know the local resources: Make a written list of the facilities and emergency resources near your dive site, including hospitals, clinics, search-and-rescue providers and transportation or evacuation services. Injured divers should always be taken to the closest medical facility, as not all hyperbaric chambers are equipped to
receive injured divers directly. Call DAN-SA only after you have contacted local emergency personnel.

Get first-aid training: Make sure your first-aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and oxygen-administration skills are up to date. If you have not had a chance to complete such training, make sure to identify who in your group - perhaps a dive master, dive buddy or medic at the dive site is trained.

Carry emergency supplies: It is critical to keep your first-aid kit well stocked and current. You should also ensure that you have enough oxygen to care for at least one injured diver until medical personnel can arrive. Obviously, remote locations will require more oxygen.

Share information: Tell your buddy about your allergies, medical conditions and insurance coverage and whether you are a DAN-SA member. If you are uncomfortable sharing personal information, write it down, seal it in an envelope and let your buddy know where it is. Always let someone on shore know where you are and when to expect you back.

Stay alert: Be an alert diver. Know that even when a diver does everything right, bad things can happen. Do not be caught off guard when they do. One level head can create calm in the midst of chaos.


Response is the implementation of the plan. It's the split-second decisions made and the actions taken that affect the outcome of the day's events.

Scene management: During an emergency situation, it is important to have preassigned tasks to specific individuals. Determine who will provide care to the injured, who will call 911, who will manage bystanders and who will secure equipment. Make sure your plan accounts for any divers still in the water.

Patient care: Remember that rescuer and bystander safety comes first; don't forget to wear gloves when providing care. Ensure circulation, airway and breathing. Stop any bleeding you find, and provide oxygen.

Communications and logistics: Good coordination of the various parties involved in an emergency reduces everyone's stress. Designate someone to liaise among the caregivers, the captain and crew, emergency services personnel and DAN. This person ensures everybody knows what they need to know.

Documentation: Good notes allow caregivers to observe trends in an injured diver's condition, serve as a reminder of what treatments have been administered and provide legal protection.

Debriefing: Give everyone involved in an emergency the opportunity to discuss what happened. Allow each participant to describe his or her own experiences and ask each other questions in an environment free from judgment. Formal processing of the event can improve psychological well-being and enhance individuals' ability to respond to future emergencies.

Diving should be a positive experience. Dive with care. Remember that DAN is here to answer any questions you may have about your emergency plan, but we can't create it for you. DAN is a part of your emergency plan, but there are many other parts you must put into place yourself. Incorporating these important elements and promoting good planning to divers of all levels, from novice to instructor, contributes to safer diving for everyone.

What to know when calling the hotline?

In a diving emergency, divers can count on the 24-hour DAN hotline for prompt and vital information.
The DAN hotline is a 24/7/365 service that is available to everyone, whether you are a DAN member or not. To call the DAN hotline within South Africa, call +27 828 10 60 10. Please note that all calls are recorded.


The DAN hotline has been established specifically to address the following situations or enquiries:
  • All diving emergencies;
  • Non-diving medical emergencies;
  • Diving medical information, such as fitness to dive, medication, and travel medical advice and enquiries;
  • Travel notifications and advice;
  • Diving medical examiner contact details; and
  • International medical centres or doctors who want to confirm DAN memberships.


Whenever you contact the DAN hotline, the following information should be available in order to expedite assistance and to ensure that contact with the caller or patient can be maintained:
  • The caller and/or patient’s name and contact number;
  • The nature of the emergency;
  • The patient’s DAN membership number, if applicable or known;
  • The patient’s medical aid information, if the incident has occurred within South Africa; and
  • The patient’s travel insurance information, if applicable.

It is important to note that if the caller is not at the scene, at least one local contact number should be provided in order to reach the person that is in need of assistance, or those who are in charge of their care.


DAN makes a conference call to one of the on-call diving medical officers (DMO's) when an emergency call is received and the nature of the event has been established. The DMO's will provide specialist diving medical advice as to what should be done immediately and will also make decisions regarding the further management of each case.


It is important to note that aeromedical resources, such as helicopters and air ambulances, cannot be dispatched unless the need for them has been confirmed and authorised by the DMO. Importantly, and contrary to popular belief, it may take longer to activate an air ambulance than it would take to mobilise emergency medical services via a ground ambulance. In addition, there are several factors, aside from costs, that influence the ultimate decision to make use of aeromedical evacuation, namely:

  • The availability of transport: Is an air ambulance or a helicopter available?
  • The nature of the injury: How urgently does the patient need advanced life-support and should they be moved to intensive care?
  • The location of the patient: What are the optimal logistical considerations for efficiently and safely moving the patient to a place where they can receive medical assessment and appropriate medical care, with appropriate medical support during the transfer?
  • Various aspects regarding the landing zone or airport: Are these appropriate for a helicopter or a fixed-wing air ambulance; are these open, particularly at night; what are the customs or immigration requirements; and what are the implications of getting the patient to the landing zone or airport or the crew to the patient?

The DAN hotline was established first and foremost as a means of providing emergency medical assistance to injured divers. Although we would like people to be considerate, we welcome calls requiring diving medical advice and assistance.

Remember that it is far better to contact the hotline early, even when the concerns about a potential diving medical problem are very tentative, rather than to wait until the situation has become critical as the opportunity to assist becomes far more restricted.